Office of the United States Trade Representative


Veneman and Zoellick Register Strong U.S. Complaints to Russia Over Poultry Ban
Contact: Richard Mills (202) 395-3230 03/01/2002

WASHINGTON - Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman and United States Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick today issued the following statement in response to Russia's announced ban on U.S. poultry:

"U.S. poultry and poultry product exports meet the highest safety standards in the world. We have been cooperating fully and promptly with Russian authorities in meeting information requests. We know of no reason whatsoever that would justify a ban on our products.

"Our trading relations with Russia are important to the United States. An unjustified ban on 20 percent of our overall exports to Russia would be extremely damaging. We will work closely with Russian officials for continuance of trade based on fair and scientifically based standards."

This afternoon, USTR Zoellick called in Russia's Ambassador to the United States, Yuri Ushakov, to urge a quick resumption of U.S. exports. Secretary Veneman is also meeting with Ambassador Ushakov today. In addition, the United States Ambassador to Russia Alexander R. Vershbow today met with senior Russian authorities to express strong U.S. concern over Russia's actions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and USTR plan to send a team of experts to Moscow next week to effect a resumption of trade.

One half of all U.S. poultry and poultry product export sales worldwide are to the Russian market. Poultry exports comprise 20 percent of total U.S. exports to Russia.


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